Headlines from the Caspian: April 25, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Apr 25, 2022
Energy and Economy
Caspian Pipeline Consortium Resumes Functioning at Full Capacity
After a month of inactivity, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium is reported to be functioning at full capacity, shortly after a meeting in Moscow between Kazakhstani Energy Minister Bolat Akchulakov and Consortium General Director Nikolai Gorban. Kazakhstan annually exports over two thirds of its oil through this pipeline.
Azerbaijani Economy Minister Meets with Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Kazakhstan
Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov met with Erzhan Kazykhan, the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration. The two discussed economic cooperation and Trans Caspian economic routes.
Kyrgyzstan Set to Build ‘Eco-City' Project on Iconic Lake
Kyrgyzstani authorities have moved ahead with a plan to develop the shoreline of Lake Issyk-Kul into an eco-city called Asman with 500 thousand residents. Ruslan Akmataliev, the project’s executive, has secured pledges from French companies Finentrep Aspir, MEDEF, and Mercuroo to provide $5 billion in funding to the project.
Belarus Plans to Sign Contracts with Uzbekistan in the Field of Engineering
Belarus plans to sign contracts during the Belarusian-Uzbek business forum, held on April 25, on the sidelines of the International Industrial Trade Fair. Belarusian business leaders emphasized the potential they see in Uzbekistan as a logistics hub and expanded trade partner for Belarus.
Kazakhstan Diverges from Russia with Rate Hike, Warning of Risks
The National Bank of Kazakhstan raised its policy rate from 13.5 percent to 14 percent and indicated it will look to future rate hikes. The decision stands in contrast to Bank Rossii’s recent move to roll back the dramatic rate hike it initiated after the Russian military launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Security and Politics
Kyrgyzstan Security Services Warn Against Using the “Z” Symbol
Kyrgyzstani state officials have warned citizens against sporting the “Z’ symbol, which has come to represent support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The State Committee for National Security, or GKNB, warned that the symbol risks promoting “inter-ethnic enmity.” The move comes in anticipation of the festivities of Victory Day on May 9.
Kyrgystan’s Foreign Minister Resigns
On April 22, Kyrgyzstan’s Foreign Minister, Ruslan Kazakbaev, resigned according to the presidential spokesman. No reason for the resignation was given.
Georgian pro-Russian group Alt Info Switches Party Leader
Zurab Makharadze, the long-time public leader of Alt Info, a pro-Russian far-right Georgian political organization, has left the group’s political organization according to public documents. On April 11, Georgian Public Registry documents replaced Makharadze with Giorgi Kardava as leader of the Conservative Movement, Alt Info’s political branch.
Source: Open Caucasus Media
Armenian, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers Agree on Structure of Border Demarcation Commission
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov have agreed on the structure of a commission to demarcate the tense border between their countries. The agreement follows a month of summitry hosted by European Council President Charles Michel.
Taliban Claims ISKP Fired Rockets toward Uzbekistan
Taliban officials announced that militants affiliated with the Islamic State Khorasan Province fired rockets toward Termez, Uzbekistan on April 18. The Uzbek government said that no rockets landed on Uzbek territory.
Sources: (Azerbaycan24, Azernews, Bloomberg, Eurasianet, Open Caucasus Media, RFE/RL, UzDaily).